For almost a fortnight many of us have been following dots across a screen, captivated by a concept that seemed too far fetched for it to be real. We were learning about it as the event unfolded, but the summary of the concept was simple: the aim was to race a bike across a large country in all manner of conditions without any support – other than the encouragement of many who were watching from afar.
It is a noble concept and one with plenty of merit. But it’s all over now.
The Indian Pacific Wheel Race was cancelled earlier today. And we mourn the loss of another life.
For now, the details remain undisclosed; there are proper protocols in place at times like this and it’s appropriate to observe them even at a time when many demand any news to be instant.
Assumptions are being made and some have been published online; this is not only terribly sad, it’s wrong.
At an appropriate time, we’ll find out the details of what happened on the roads of the ACT earlier today but for now we wait for the police to conduct their investigations and inform the families of those concerned. And then, when further formal news is dispatched, we can consider the fall-out.
An accident happened. A life is lost. And the rest is just speculation from afar.
A cyclist and a vehicle were involved. It happened around 6.25am on the Monaro Highway.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the deceased and with the riders who are in limbo, perhaps still racing across Australia unaware of the incident.
We have had contact with some of the riders contesting the race and those who we have spoken to are aware of the cancellation. One simply responded with a message: “Very sad. Coming home tonight.”
He’ll be a different man to the one who set off for an epic ride 13 days ago and it will be great to see him.
– Rob Arnold